To lose confidence in one’s body is to lose confidence in oneself. – Simone de Beauvoir
I struggled with body issues my entire life. This has led to more harm than good. Therefore, it was time for me say goodbye to my body issues and insecurities and be happy the way I am. The beauty standards are changing and as plus size fashion blogger I am going to do my best to contribute to the global body positive movement.
2015 is the year my journey from body shaming to body positive was complete. As a plus size fashion blogger I have learnt a lot of things and I am taking those teachings along with me to promising 2016.
Done With Shame
2015 is when I, finally, once and for all, broke up with shame. For far too long I had given it way too much importance in my life. From my body to my relationship status to my personality and lifestyle choices, everything was open to shame. Well-wishers and random strangers, both, could at any given time pick a topic of their choice and find ways to shame me with it while I pretended it was not me they were doing it to. I pretty much let everyone around me shame me. Worse, I shamed myself too!
After years of letting shame win, I decided it was time to go our own way and call it quits for good. The problem is, we let people dictate what is right and wrong for us and in the process hate on who we are and what we already have. The whole world has body shamed me for being fat. Guess what, I shamed myself more. Everyone I know has at some point shamed me for my unconventional career choices. I did it too. Same goes for love life, marriage, eating habits, and so on. It all ends now! Instead of blaming the world I decided to stop their control over me.
I am done with shame! You can’t shame me anymore. You can try, but I promise you, you won’t succeed!
Peace With Myself
Carl Jung said, “The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.”
After years of shame and denial I have finally learnt to accept myself for who I really am and be proud of it. We all cannot be the same so there is no point trying to. The biggest game changer for me was making peace with being fat. I stopped treating fat as an abusive word and started seeing it for what it is – an adjective that describes me and not defines me. A descriptive word rather than a derogative term.
I shamed myself for being fat. For not being able to lose weight like others and for not hating myself enough for being fat. It was a paradox. I hated being fat but I somehow still loved myself. I finally made peace with being fat. I stopped letting it control me. More importantly, I stopped letting people use it as a way to shame me.
For me, fat describes my physical characteristic just like single describes my relation status and fair describes my complexion. It is neither more nor less. Fat is just an adjective and we need to stop seeing it as a bad word and using it in a pejorative manner.
I am not ashamed of being called fat, anymore! This has been one of my life’s biggest achievements and also made me a fierce body positive advocate.
Step Out of Comfort Zone
2015 is when I changed my outlook about some of the most important things in my life. For the longest time I wanted to be thin. Then it was all about losing weight. Now my goal is being fit and healthy. That is what I want to achieve. If getting fit means that I will still have to shop in the plus size section, then I am okay with it. If it means never having a flat stomach, always having some amount of cellulite and random stretch marks here and there, I am fine with that too.
Being comfortable in my fat body was a new and liberating thing for me. If I am okay with it, then no one else should care.
When I started fashion blogging I almost drove myself insane with insecurities. I eventually learnt that being fat and fashionable are not mutually exclusive. You can be size 2 and not have a sense of style and you can be a size 22 and have impeccable taste. This has been a major learning experience as a blogger. Blogging introduced me to amazing plus size fashion bloggers and body positive advocates who are unabashed and unapologetic about who they are. They inspired me to push aside my insecurities and be proud of who I am.
From experimenting with my personal style to trying new authors, different cuisines and giving online dating a try, I am not afraid to step out of my comfort zone and try new things.
Wing It Like Adele
It started off as a very achievable 2016 resolution. Something I could achieve and be proud of. The goal was to be able to do winged eyeliner just like Adele. Simple. What started out as an easy to attain resolution gradually evolved into something far more that just an eyeliner application technique. It became an attitude inspired by Adele and the way she has defied all odds, broken stereotypes and accomplished what very few can. By doing so she shut-up haters and showed women around the world that your body size has nothing to do with your talent or success. With her achievements Adele broke an unbreakable glass ceiling.
In an industry that thrives on skinny, Adele blew everyone away with her larger than life talent. She showed that if you have it in you then no amount of social stereotypes and beauty standards can stop you. With her modest styling, her curvy body and powerhouse voice she moved away all the clutter of glitter and gyrating dance steps and showed the world that talent is not size specific.
I am all set to wing it like Adele: eyeliner and attitude.
In a world that loves to hate and mock all things fat, being a plus size woman is not easy – Especially in the fashion world. For the longest time society has treated plus size people as social pariahs. However, now with the rise of body positive and plus size movements across the globe, it gives me and every curvy, chubby and plus size woman and man hope.
#MorePlusForUs is my way of to asking for more plus size representation, availability of more plus size fashion and respect for what plus size bloggers do. It is challenging, but we love it and do it nonetheless. Amidst all the clothing size availability limitations, body-shaming comments, crude jokes and random strangers asking us to eat less and workout more, we still do what we love. For far too long society has fat shamed people and made them feel less than equal. I have faced it too.
One of my biggest goals for the time ahead is to be more vocal about body and fat shaming and encourage people to join the body positive movement and celebrate people of all shapes and sizes.
Disclaimer: This article was originally published on Amena’s blog Fashionopolis here.
All images courtesy Amena Azeez